The tomb of a king ?

Legend, or I ought to say, popular wisdom says this niche carved in the rock, placed between a cereal field and a rocky hill near the Mesa river is in fact the tomb of one of the muslim warriors living and battling in that zone during the ages of Al-Andalus.

Truly, that zone and many others around there were scene of neverending battles, during the long gone years of muslim and christian conquer and re-conquer episodes.

I’m not very expert on the history of those years, but a quick search on the internet has confirmed that the shape, approximate depth and most important, the E-W orientation with the head towards the rising sun (and feet towards sunset, as you can see on the picture) are common on them.

Why is it supposed to be the one from a king, I don’t know, but again according to what I’ve been told, years ago, during some severe rains and works on the cereal field, several more tombs were found, together with some archeological rests.

So, maybe whoever he was, he was somewhat different if he was worth carving a different tomb on pure rock instead of a regular one on the soft ground…

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Well, as is always the case, legends and popular wisdom are always better if supported (and corrected!) by the proper dose of historical knowledge, in this case thanks to these comments kindly provided by Luis:

To me, as ou describe it and more if there are more looks like (pre) visigothic tombs, as their presence in the area is well documented. I’m almost sure that isn’t islamic because they have to be in the ground.

There are more examples in the area adn the relatively near Cuenca, and I’m not so sure now as I’m talking from memory, but I think that there are also in Teruel.

Since the fall of the roman empire and the later christianization as we know it there it was an age where the pagan tradition and christianity mixed. So you can find sacred woods devoted to Diana becoming a Maria’s sanctuary and so on, as well odd (for us) funerary practices or ritual canibalism that was a fact in some places until the end of middle age.

Back to the main theme, many visigothic settlements and cities were left behind as the islamic invasion were coming close and never used again. The islamic army didn’t found too much resistence because the current landlords were specialized in killing themselves in their own fight to local power. That explains why isn’t much left of them.

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So, Luis, as always, thanks for your visits and comments ! πŸ™‚

Categorized: _color | _valledelmesa

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8 thoughts on “The tomb of a king ?

  1. To me, as ou describe it and more if there are more looks like (pre) visigothic tombs, as their presence in the area is well documented. I’m almost sure that isn’t islamic because they have to be in the ground.

    There are more examples in the area adn the relatively near Cuenca, and I’m not so sure now as I’m talking from memory, but I think that there are also in Teruel.

  2. Hi Luis !

    This you say also reminds me that there’s another group of tombs like this one on a nearby place, called El Villar. They are all carved in the rock and according to what I read about it belong to what was the primitive location of what later would become the village of Villel de Mesa.

    So you may be right on this, since I remember the mention of those ones being visigothic. I have to look a round a bit better and see if there is some other trace since I find the lonely location of this one to be a bit curious at least.

    Thanks for the lesson ! πŸ™‚

    Oscar

  3. Since the fall of the roman empire and the later christianization as we know it there it was an age where the pagan tradition and christianity mixed. So you can find sacred woods devoted to Diana becoming a Maria’s sanctuary and so on, as well odd (for us) funerary practices or ritual canibalism that was a fact in some places until the end of middle age.

    Back to the main theme, many visigothic settlements and cities were left behind as the islamic invasion were coming close and never used again. The islamic army didn’t found too much resistence because the current landlords were specialized in killing themselves in their own fight to local power. That explains why isn’t much left of them.

  4. As if there were not enough reasons to love that land, you’re just giving me more food for my thought, my interest and of course for the possible photographic vision associated.

    I know about this ‘overlapping’ of sacred places. It seems to have been a constant everywhere, and a very good example is also the big number of churches and sanctuaries placed over older pre-historical rests, and/or surrounded by them, as is the case with the Sant Pere de Rodes sanctuary (a zone very worth visiting if you can).

    It seems that my next trip to the library is closer than I imagined πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the historical backbone. I guess you have quite a knowledge on that area, am I right ?

    Oscar

  5. Oscar, I think this is one of your most amazing pictures ever. I love the feeling you’ve captured and the effect of the light.

    I love these places and use to go to a place up country called Arbor Low in the Peak District. It’s a stone circle within an earthworks, possibly the only place I have ever felt real peace on this earth.

    Tony

  6. Amazing posts about the Valle del Mesa… where are you from exactly? From which village?
    I am both from Mochales and Villel… It’s great to let people know how beautiful the valley is…
    Congratulations!

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